Wikipedia:Size in volumes

This page displays the current size of a hypothetical print edition of the English Wikipedia (without images) in print volumes, per mathematical calculation.

2741 volumes
14 stacks

Human outline.svg

Assumptions and calculationsEdit

Encyclopædia Britannica: two rows of volumes in shelves
  • On 28 July 2020, Special:statistics showed 3,651,641,000 words across 6,130,000 articles implying an average of 596 words per article.
  • As of 2020, 30.308 GB (=31,036,027,087 bytes) across 3,651 million words, implying 8.3 bytes/word. ASCII uses 1 byte/character which in turn implies 8.3 characters/word. However, this includes wikimarkup, and 5 char/word plus one for space or punctuation mark is standard, so 6 characters/word will be assumed.
  • There are currently 6,134,552 articles, which means 3.6543526264×10^9 words, which means 2.19261157584×10^10 characters.
  • One volume: 25cm high, 5cm thick. 500 leaves, 2 pagefaces per leaf, 2 columns per pageface, 80 rows/column, 50 characters per row. So one volume = 8,000,000 characters, or 1,333,333 words, or 2,238.3 articles. (Pictures not included!)
    • Sanity check: Encyclopædia Britannica has 44 million words across 32 volumes, or 1,375,000 words per volume.
  • Thus, the text of the English Wikipedia is currently equivalent to 2,740.8 volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Print WikipediaEdit

The Print Wikipedia installation

In June 2015, artist Michael Mandiberg (User:Theredproject) generated a 7,473 volume print-ready collection of the English Wikipedia in PDF format, printed wallpaper representing the spines of the books, and printed over 100 volumes through print on demand service Lulu, as part of an art installation at the Denny Gallery in New York City. The table of contents alone took 91 volumes to list the nearly 11.5 million articles.[1][2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (16 June 2015). "Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Github site mandiberg/printwikipedia". Retrieved 2015-07-02.

External linksEdit